The appreciation for vintage (aged) beers seems to be at an all-time high. I posted a photo of a 1977 Rochefort 8, that was enjoyed at Bierhuis Kulminator in 2005, on my Facebook page, here, yesterday, and 1,000 people viewed it in just over 24 hours. Considering I only have just over 800 followers at the moment, that’s pretty impressive.
I was lucky that I was able to start tasting aged beers at Kulminator in 1996, and I was the first person to write a detailed history of the place. I wrote about Kulminator, and its vintage beers, in publications such as All About Beer Magazine, Celebrator Beer News, CAMRA What’s Brewing, and the Beeradvocate website.
So, here is the first of what will be at least a two-part series of vintage beer photos. Enjoy the scenery….
When I visited Brouwerij Westvleteren at De Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren for the third time, in 2007, my friend Danny Van Tricht and I were in for a real treat. Brother Joris, the monk in charge of the brewery at the time, told us we would be drinking a special beer. He said that someone had come to the abbey gates and said they had found an old bottle, and did not want it. The person knew the date was sometime in 1969 due to some newspaper that was packed around the bottle in a cellar. You can see that at this point, the brewery didn’t even use all of its own glassware-this one was from another brewery, Aigle Belgica, and was reused by the monks. That was actually pretty common at that time for small breweries.
This brew was stellar-very complex, rich, and port-like, with very low oxidation.
After we tasted the beer and left the abbey, my friend Danny, a glass collector, told me that the glassware that we drank from-which was made for the christening party for the new brewery, which was held on May 25, 1990, were worth many hundreds of euros each. Only 200 were made, I think he said. I remembered thinking how glad I was that I didn’t know how valuable it was at the time, as I would have hated to drop it!!
This ’75 Rochefort 10 was a gift from Dirk Van Dyck of Bierhuis Kulminator, in appreciation for my 4,000 word piece about the Kulminator and aged beers which appeared in All About Beer Magazine, July 2002 issue.
If you like this article, please like our Facebook page here
and our Twitter page here